Motel SWAT situation starts with robbery, ends peacefully - FOX 13 News

Motel SWAT situation starts with robbery, ends peacefully

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PALM HARBOR (FOX 13) -

A SWAT situation at a Pinellas County motel ended peacefully Tuesday morning, and deputies say it all began when a man robbed a cab driver.

It began around 1:30 a.m. when deputies say the suspect took a backpack from a cab at a storage unit just off U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor.

The cab driver chased the man to the America's Best Value Inn Motel at 28488 U.S. 19 North, where the suspect, identified as 23-year-old David Shaffer, allegedly threatened to kill the driver if he came any closer.

Deputies say a gun was in the backpack. Shaffer took shelter inside a room, and deputies say his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kristi Orestas, was also inside the room.

Shaffer was barricaded inside the room but surrendered peacefully after negotiating with authorities. He was taken into custody and is charged with armed robbery.

Orestas does not face any charges.  

Deputies believe the man was looking for money or drugs.  

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